Who doesn’t love Beethoven? We all love Beethoven and his music. After our holidays were over, I told my children that I would like for us to start learning about one composer and they could choose. Of course, they couldn’t quite agree, so we decided that they could take turns choosing. JD Boy chose our first composer and he chose none other than Beethoven. So for several weeks we have listened to Beethoven lots and lots–while we do our chores, while we drive and while we make crafts. We do listen to other music too! We are still in love with the hymn CD’s that accompanied the books we read before and during the holidays–Hymns for a Kid’s Heart (See my post on those.) and we just have other albums we enjoy listening too. But we have immersed ourselves in Beethoven’s music and it’s oh, so inspiring.
I’m sure you can guess which piece is the kids’ favorite: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Probably along with most other kids their ages. The only thing is my kids’ now call it “Beethoven’s Wig” because we listened to a version of it with silly lyrics from a CD called “Beethoven’s Wig” It has put lyrics to several classical pieces, which perhaps wrecks the music, I don’t know. One of the pieces is called “Beep, Beep, Beep” and is to the tune of Moonlight Sonata. My brother-in-law says that he’ll never be able to play that song on the piano again without having “Beep, beep, beep” going in his mind. I have to feel sorry for him. I’ll have to admit that I really laughed when I heard it too.
We also enjoyed some good stories about Beethoven. We read the book: Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells by Opal Wheeler. This book is a very good book. I highly recommend it. We liked it so much that I purchased the whole series, so we have some really great books to read about composers for awhile to come. We also purchased the accompanying CD about Beethoven which has several Beethoven piano pieces. We didn’t try the accompanying teacher’s guide though.
Our other favorite source was The Story of Beethoven In Words and Music CD. We’ve had these CD’s for awhile, because my husband listened to them when he was a homeschooler and loved them so bought them perhaps even before we had children for his own listening enjoyment. They really are excellent. They’re very inexpensive too. On Amazon this CD is only $3.00.
And the third story that especially my son enjoyed a lot was Beethoven Lives Upstairs. We got it on CD. So he listened to it over and over. It is the story of Beethoven in a boy’s words. I haven’t made my verdict on this one. It is really interesting and engaging, but I personally am very careful to not mix fiction into history studies so that my kids don’t mix up the facts for the fiction and I can’t quite tell if this is historically accurate or not. Everything I’ve checked on has checked out, but I’m not done checking.
Most importantly we enjoyed lots of music by Beethoven. My husband is a collector of classical music, especially violin. Perhaps that’s because he’s a violinist or perhaps it’s because he was homeschooled, whichever the reason, we had access to hours of Beethoven. And we really appreciated Beethoven’s music.
We decided to try our hand at notebooking rather than lapbooking on this project. Here are pictures of our pages that have been added to our notebooks. This is the first thing that we have “notebooked” so we’re new to this concept, but figure that since we successfully figured out how to lapbook, that we can figure this out too.